Monday, December 13, 2010
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
First of all, a brief summary of my view after seeing the film the other night: loved it.
Of course it isn't as good as the book. Movies seldom are, and in only one case I can think of (Godfather) does the movie excel the book. I hesitate to see the new version of True Grit for the same reason, but will stumble into the cinema in any case I'm sure.
OK, back to Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Look, I think parents should insist that their children read Chronicles of Narnia before ever seeing these films, but this is not likely to be the case now, especially with very young children. Almost all movies arising from books, and VODT is no different in this regard, collapse aspects of the story while almost always adding odd subplots and changes that are meant to stimulate and hold enraptured the typically ADD movie attending audience. The question in the case of VODT would be whether such squeezes and expansions distorted the primary story. The answer I believe is no. The story is intact. In fact, it is beautifully told, and for this I am grateful.
I will complain that Aslan's de-dragonizing of Eustace passed before the eye in too great a hurry. This is a magnificent moment in the tale, and given the film's excellent casting and portrayal of the Eustace character it could have been even more powerful given more time. Thankfully Eustace' famed summary of the experience - the good hurt of the thorn removed - was included in the script.
I especially appreciated the unsubtle testimony to Christ by the inclusion of Aslan's words to Edmund and Lucy, that they must come to know him by another Name in their world.
The entrance of the noble Reepicheep into the great eastern lands of Aslan is as beautiful a passing as one could ever hope to enjoy. That scene of hopeful anticipation in the face of leaving behind this world for what is to come is worth the price of the ticket.
Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe was passable, despite oddly poor costumes. Prince Caspian was a disaster which should never again see the light of day. Voyage of the Dawn Treader might benefit from some help from the special effects guys who did Pirates of the Caribbean, but over all its a very fine film and one not to be missed - so long as dad or mom promise to read the story to the kiddos as well!